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Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

A couple of A.C . Grayling’s books – recently finished

In books, ethics, freedom, good life, history, moral issues, philosophy, politics, traditions on December 14, 2013 at 14:26

The Good Book: A Humanist Bible.
I normally really enjoy books by A.C. Grayling.  I’ve got few complaints about this one.  I don’t know if it’s only fault of the audio book but I found it frustrating that I didn’t know from where the quotes were taken.

I did really enjoyed the verses chapter. It was great to recognise a piece of poetry I’ve learned at school in another language!  On the whole I think the book should not had “Bible” in the title and somehow influencing its structure. Bible is not a greatest of our ancient texts and has been completely discredited over the centuries. 

I also think that this A.C . Grayling book would benefit from inclusion of modern philosophy.

Liberty in the Age of Terror: A Defence of Civil Liberties and Enlightenment Values.
It is right to be concerned with attacks on Civil Liberties.  However I think the author didn’t really shown how much better informed we are thanks to the technology and globalisation,  how much more opportunities we have to express our opinions to the whole world and to listen to opinions of others. The feeling of interdependence and interconnection (one small world!) does helps to promote the Enlightenment values by itself.

Газета.Ru – НОВОСТИ / В окно музея Набокова в Петербурге кинули бутылку: писателя обвиняют в педофилии и грозят «гневом Божиим»

In art, city, Россия, взгляд из Православия, забавно, история, книги, мораль, православие, ethics on January 29, 2013 at 11:11

http://m.gazeta.ru/social/news/2013/01/10/n_2700505.shtml Газета.Ru – НОВОСТИ / В окно музея Набокова в Петербурге кинули бутылку: писателя обвиняют в педофилии и грозят «гневом Божиим» http://m.gazeta.ru/social/news/2013/01/10/n_2700505.shtml «Теперь наш т.н. «атаман» хочет использовать совсем иные способы борьбы с Набоковым и прочими нехристианскими и невозможными к показу искусствами. Один из наших активистов совершил нападение на музей Набокова, до этого постоянно посылая им письма с угрозами. Он бросил в окно бутылку с запиской, где были цитаты из Библии и угрозы нападения», — говорит один из борцов за нравственность. Ранее проверить романы «Лолита» Владимира Набокова и «Сто лет одиночества» Габриэля Гарсиа Маркеса на пропаганду педофилии предлагал протоиерей Всеволод Чаплин. “ Вот они, борцы с мировым литературным наследием. Протоиереи и атаманы во всей своей красе… А “неудобные” места из их любимой Библии, книги примитивной, варварской, жестокой, забыты напрочь.

In Uncategorized on September 12, 2012 at 15:41

Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness

John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism, 1863

A response to Spufford, F. 2012. “Dear Atheists. . .” New Humanist 127:34-36.

In ethics, moral issues, religion on August 30, 2012 at 13:16
I find it a bit difficult to understand whether you defend religion on the whole or just your particular version of Christianity? If you ask me a question “Do you know for sure that there is no invisible powerful beings affecting our lives”, – of course I would have to say: “No, I don’t know”. But real religions are precise. They have sacred books which content could be proven historically incorrect, they’ve got creation myths which could be shown to be just myths and shouldn’t be told at schools instead of science, they got moral code which could be shown unkind. Religions can have rituals which my moral duty could be to declare cruel and ideas which I feel I must warn people as of potentially dangerous. For me Atheism is not about abstract unknowable things, it’s about concrete details.
People are very different in respect of what they cherish the most – hence their understanding of their own religion vary. For you, the emotions are the most important things, for others they will be something else: dogmas, rituals, moral, sacred texts, model of the world, power, hierarchy and so on. Please don’t make all believers to be just like you.
Atheists are not a political party or a club, it’s just all sort of independent people who don’t subscribe to any religion while you subscribe to just one of them – this is why there can’t be much emotions involved in the idea of Atheism. “I probably hurt your “atheist” feelings,” – sarcastically said one Christian to me. I don’t have any “atheist” feelings. I am human and I have human feelings. I can’t understand why having ordinary human feelings (which of course could be hurt) counts by believers as something less important than them having their “religious” feelings… By the way that praised by you highly emotional state that many religious people experience, together with non-questioning, dogmatic thinking, may be responsible for horrific things believers sometime commit. We all got natural empathy of social beings – towards other human beings and some animals, but there are situations when it could be overridden. On the mass scale – by feelings and ideas provided by religion, nationalism or ideology.
You are saying that a lot of Christians were atheists at some point. A lot of atheists were Christians (me included) so we know what we are talking about.
I noticed that believers like to say “we are so similar to atheists” or “atheists are really believers too” – like they feel some sort of insecurity, the fear of being left behind.
I love the comparison with Stamp Collectors and use it all the time myself. If all believers were like Philatelists I don’t think you would had much opposition at all! Just minding your own business…Philatelists (and atheists too!) never knocked on my door, approached me on the street, came to my kids’ school to teach their ways without my consent… Stamp Collectors (as far as I know) never claimed that all non-Philatelists are perverted sinners, lost souls and will burn in hell forever, they never invented a law punishing non-Philatelists for not bothering about stamps… They never executed anybody who said that stamps are rubbish. If you reject barbaric things like that it doesn’t mean that all believers do!
It is not the pleasure to oppose religion and humiliate religious people which moves atheists like me but the desire to warn of the dangers of religion, especially of the dogmatic set of mind – listed above and others, sometime much less obvious.

Honestly, which side, religious or non-religious, exhibits throughout the World and exhibited through the History more aggression and intolerance?

New Enlightenment

In Uncategorized on June 14, 2012 at 10:28

an article

New Enlightenment

What’s the problem with multiculturalism?

In ethics, relationship, religion on April 28, 2012 at 06:40

Some people like it. Some people hate it. I am just trying to figure out what it is.

If my neighbour came from a different country and cooks her rice in a different way, I am curious. Can I learn that? If she likes wearing unusual clothes, I am curious: I like ethnic fashion. If she looks very different from locals, as an artist, I am very curious. Could there seriously be any problem?

The problems arise when there is a religion involved. Maybe she wears a scarf all the time (or goes to a temple, never goes to doctors, prays, don’t eat duck meat, etc). Maybe she thinks that it is right, good, proper thing to do and ones who don’t do that are sinners, infidels, heretics, condemned? Neighbours will read this in her eyes – or just imagine they read it, but, anyway, this will be a wedge between them.

In my personal opinion, it is very difficult for a large number of believers to accept others, ones who don’t believe in their gods. “Non-Christians can’t do good deeds”. “If they are not baptised in the Orthodox Church they will burn in Hell forever”. “Their view of the world is wrong”. “Demons tell them what to say”. I’ve heard it all. Funny enough, their sacred books are on their side.

I think the very idea of multiculturalism is just a response to the last hiccups of religion. The only serious things which make living side by side for peoples from different cultures really difficult, are their believes. Believes in religious (also maybe ethnic or class) supremacy. Of course, there are cases of anti-social behaviour but “neighbours from Hell” don’t need to be of different culture – every one has got their own lot. Majority of people no matter where from, by their social nature, will want to comply with neighbours, not terrorise them.

One can learn to overcome ones nationalistic or class pride. Yet every popular religion says it is the only true one, so this supremacy lies in its root. One either gives up all or the most of ones religious system – to live in real peace, to enjoy real friendship – or one forever looks at strangers suspiciousely…

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2012 at 16:24

all the virtues of character seem to belong to us from birth… For we are just and moderate and courageous and the rest straight from our birth … even children and animals have these natural dispositions, through they evidently prove harmful without rational guidance.

Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics

Nursing homes

In Uncategorized on August 31, 2011 at 08:15

I used to hate the idea of “retirement houses”. It looked like children were abandoning their parents, they wouldn’t returned the favour for bringing them up! Lots of the other people on this planet would probably agreed. Mind you, seeing first hand a terribly tired middle-aged daughter caring for her very elderly mother with dementia, often strange, aggressive and depressed, I started looking better towards all this.

Although I still think its very important for the kids to grow seeing their grandparents often, learning from them, listening to their stories.

Unfairness

In Uncategorized on June 19, 2009 at 09:02

I’ve decided to try to duplicate the posts from my other blogs here and to see what happens. Russian posts will have russian tags and vice versa.

It often happens to me that if I have a burning question the answer comes from outside world. Few days ago I’ve got involved in an unpleasant discussion on the net. There was a place where people were answering a simple question "Do you belong to the Orthodox Church?" Then out of the blue three persons appeared saying again and again that all Orthodox Christians are layers, pretenders (unlike me clever agnostic), infantiles, never have any religious experience (unlike me clever Buddhist), dream about world domination and generally some sad and ugly creature, not proper human being (unlike me rude student). When I told them that you can’t say this kind of things about a very large amount of people (simply because it’s impossible to prove) they accused me of enforcing Western political correctness. Me and the other people tried to reason but we were overpowered by these people who seemingly had nothing else to do rather that denying millions of people their beliefs. So I was wondering: If something like this happens in future should I pay any attention? I get very upset at unfairness so I wonder if it is worth to get involved?

And here comes Dr. Laura blog:
"I just don’t like life’s unfair qualities, and I have generally stood up to them no matter what."
"we both still maintained the bulk of our differing opinions. We did, however, agree on one point of ethics, morals, and values: you defend who or what is being attacked unfairly, and consequently, we both defended responsible free speech."
"And I’m left wondering if you’ll stand up for others (or values, morals, ethics and principles) when most others around you will turn their gaze away."
Good for you, Dr. Laura!

Another point of that discussion was that its unreasonable to be good to people. Funny that the lady who was the biggest advocate of this keeps of giving life organising advices online without realising that it is spending time and energy for the sake of others – that is, being good to other people!

Also I’ve been thinking that they teach how not to offend in schools now. It good, as long as kids will understand that sometime if they have to do or to say something important they will offend others – who disagree (plus sometime our absolutely innocent actions can offend people with different system of views). I think its very important also to teach the children DO NOT GET offended and upset easily but defend their opinion calmly and reasonable. I have feeling the kids to much used to run to the teacher at a slight sight of any disagreement now.

Yet another 2 points: 1) If somebody says that a big group of people X are all idiots it is impossible to prove this. Therefore the only reason of doing that (consious or subconsiuos) is to OFFEND. The question is why?

2) I’ve been told that artificial nature of Orthodox religion (pretense) is proven by the fact that Orthodox people are easily offended… Well I think many people will get offended if others start calling them names without apparent reasons, people are offended by general unfairness, plus if others rudely speak about subjects CLOSE TO THEIR HEARTS. The later case actually PROVES that there is no pretense!

Unfairness

In ethics, kids, moral issues, religion on June 19, 2009 at 06:14

It often happens to me that if I have a burning question the answer comes from outside world. Few days ago I’ve got involved in an unpleasant discussion on the net. There was a place where people were answering a simple question “Do you belong to the Orthodox Church?” Then out of the blue three persons appeared saying again and again that all Orthodox Christians are layers, pretenders (unlike me clever agnostic), infantiles, never have any religious experience (unlike me clever Buddhist), dream about world domination and generally some sad and ugly creature, not proper human being (unlike me rude student). When I told them that you can’t say this kind of things about a very large amount of people (simply because it’s impossible to prove) they accused me of enforcing Western political correctness. Me and the other people tried to reason but we were overpowered by these people who seemingly had nothing else to do rather that denying millions of people their beliefs. So I was wondering: If something like this happens in future should I pay any attention? I get very upset at unfairness so I wonder if it is worth to get involved?

And here comes Dr. Laura blog:
“I just don’t like life’s unfair qualities, and I have generally stood up to them no matter what.”
“we both still maintained the bulk of our differing opinions. We did, however, agree on one point of ethics, morals, and values: you defend who or what is being attacked unfairly, and consequently, we both defended responsible free speech.”
“And I’m left wondering if you’ll stand up for others (or values, morals, ethics and principles) when most others around you will turn their gaze away.”
Good for you, Dr. Laura!

Another point of that discussion was that its unreasonable to be good to people. Funny that the lady who was the biggest advocate of this keeps of giving life organising advices online without realising that it is spending time and energy for the sake of others – that is, being good to other people!

Also I’ve been thinking that they teach how not to offend in schools now. It good, as long as kids will understand that sometime if they have to do or to say something important they will offend others – who disagree (plus sometime our absolutely innocent actions can offend people with different system of views). I think its very important also to teach the children DO NOT GET offended and upset easily but defend their opinion calmly and reasonable. I have feeling the kids to much used to run to the teacher at a slight sight of any disagreement now.

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